About the Writer
Meghan McClure lives in Washington. Her work can be found in Mid-American Review, LA Review, Water~Stone Review, Superstition Review, Bluestem, Pithead Chapel, Proximity Magazine, Boaat Press, and Black Warrior Review. Her collaborative book with Michael Schmeltzer, A Single Throat Opens, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in June 2017.
Flint Against Bone
One brother made my elbows,
the other my knees.
They struck until
I became a sharp knife.
I took to the woods,
looking for saplings –
easy to cut and bend.
I made of them a crown
I wore alone, speaking to the sky.
Brothers: To see your brothers, while dreaming, full of energy, you will have cause to
rejoice at your own or their good fortune; but if they are poor and in distress, or begging
for assistance, you will be called to a deathbed soon, or some dire loss will overwhelm
you or them.
Killing: To dream of killing a defenseless man, prognosticates sorrow and failure i
n affairs. If you kill one in self-defense, or kill a ferocious beast, it denotes victory and a
rise in position.
from 10,000 Dreams Interpreted
After dreaming all night that I’ve killed you and nobody knows, I am hungry but unworthy
of nourishment. How can I eat when the echo of your begging bangs in my ear?
What can I eat that won’t remind me of you?
The apple purples under my thumb and the mealy mouthful grinds down to my stomach,
I ingest even the bruise of it,
swallow the stem and seeds like pills. Every apple reminds me of those Sunday school
stories we heard
if guilt was strong and we woke on time and none of us cried until hives
covered us and if the car started and nobody was arguing with God.
Adam and Eve were of the same rib? That’s us. Minus the repopulating the earth part.
under the same ribs, kicked the same bladder, stubbornly grew large in
the same womb.
And isn’t what they did a form of killing each other? I was always afraid we’d do that too.
Pushing each other down the stairs or putting pillows over mouths or kicking until our stomachs were overripe plums and chasing each other with knives because –
this our garden to do with what we wanted. We found out how we could uproot anything
if we tried hard enough.
Life forked like a serpent’s tongue –
I ran, retreated, hid in a cave. I’ve gone pale with
You stood your ground. Hands on your hips,
chin up, ready to face whatever beast came from the dust.